Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kickin' Up Dust

Danny and I have this nerdy book club going on where we read the same scriptures individually and then discuss them later on.
Except it's not organized and there's no cucumber sandwiches.  It's mostly us discussing Christ over dirty dish water while the children punk each other in the background.

It is ALL good.

As I (we?) have read the New Testament, I keep finding Christ teaching the principles of the 12-steps, and it has been so validating for me!  I get some push back for working the steps because, well, they're "not scriptures" and I shouldn't neglect my spirituality for the sake of a therapy program thingy.
But they go SO hand-in-hand.  So very much.

In Matthew, The Savior speaks to his disciples (of which I'm striving to be and even cross my legs like one...) about shaking the dust off their feet.
I've read that before.  I've seen that before.
But I mean... I READ that the other day.  And I SAW it.

(aHEM.  I like pink.)

Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, SHAKE OFF THE DUST OF YOUR FEET.
I read it over time and time again.

How many times had I felt -HAVE I felt -unheard?  unwelcomed?  
How many times have I taken those situations and tried to manage them, tried to fix them, tried to help others see...
Tried to manage their perception of myself?  as if I had the DUTY to manage and control others.

I didn't know I could surrender at the time.  Surrender has always been -for me -an elusive sort of balloon that I load full of my unmanageables and send on up to Heaven.  It was something I imagined myself doing, and I always felt like I was leaving a message on a Celestial answering machine.
"Hello, God?  This is Alicia Again.  I was just calling about _______, _________, ________.  That's why the balloon is coming.  So, uh.  BYE."

Learning the process of surrender seemed awkward and imaginary and TOO easy... 
But as I read those words, everything clicked.  

Balloons, it turns out, aren't my forte.
But dust?  Dirt?  MUD?  Soil?  THESE I understand.  And how I love the idea of kicking it off and leaving it for the Lord to manage.
I find myself in certain situations kicking the mud from my tennies and saying, 
"God, I just walked OUT of a situation that is thoroughly pissing me off/making me insane/confusing me/breaking my heart/scaring the crap out of me and I feel like I was unseen, unheard, and powerless.  I WANT to continue investing.  I want to be heard and seen.  I want to manage this outcome.  I feel the urge to CONTROL. The urge is strong with this one (and I point to myself and laugh because my God GETS movie quotes).  BUT instead, I'm going to kick it off... I've walked around and gathered the dust of this situation all OVER my shoes, so I'm going to kick it off and leave it here for Thee.  This isn't easy for me to do.  I want to keep the mud, but I trust you know better what to do with matter and mortals than I do.  Can you help me get this caked on part off?  Even if I fight?  I'm trying not to..."

And there I sit on the porch of my pathway and stomp my feet.
The dust flies up into my desert and I breathe in fresh air.

I think of D&C 75:19-20
"19) And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house. 
20) And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you not, ye shall depart speedily from that house, and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them."

I like the thought of leaving a dust pile, dust devil, dirt path... leaving it as a testimony of my surrender.  Walking AWAY from IT rather than watching my balloon float away from me.  

Does that a hill of beans sense, friends?

This concept is SO powerful for me.  I shared it with my husband through our Cazh' Book Club (that's the casual form of casual, I'm pretty sure) via the picture I posted above.  And now he texts me pictures of high heels when I'm trying to shake dust.
It's truly adorable how classy he mistakes me to be.
Heels... *chortle*

I don't always think to surrender things right away.  Of course I don't.  More often than not, I choose to walk around in the dust of the situation like the pigs who live behind my house.
WALLOW in the dust until it becomes caked on my shoes.  
Surrender is only as simple as I make it.  God will let me surrender at my own pace and in my own time.  I can choose to make it a simple process of my prayer (written above), a phone call to a trusted person (sponsor), and writing it down to put in my God Jar.
OR I can keep it quietly, try and manipulate my own control, feel my heart pump and race and my head spin out of control... and in those times, surrender becomes increasingly and measurably and infinitely more difficult.
But still possible.

And still a life-giving miracle.


  1. Hey book club buddy! Is that even a term? I love how vulnerable you've been in your posts lately! It sounds like you're truly being taught by the Lord and "likening" the scriptures to your life. I'm glad you have found so much clarity and direction! See you at "the club" haha

  2. Are you flirting with me? Betta watch yo' self, my husband's a cop. :) And i have no input for club tonight. I better get with it...

  3. "I like the thought of leaving a dust pile, dust devil, dirt path... leaving it as a testimony of my surrender. Walking AWAY from IT rather than watching my balloon float away from me"
    Oh. That is COOL. Makes more than a hill'o'beans of sense to me.